Wednesday, June 11, 2008
On my last trip to Wal-Mart, I inadvertently did something I swore I'd avoid until it was absolutely impossible: Purchase a "Bush Bulb".
How? These sickly, twisted mercury-infused votive candles of the Church of Global Warming are impossible to confuse with incandescent Edison Bulbs, right?
Right, unless they come disguised as real light bulbs and you're in a hurry.
We have an odd back room off the kitchen where I keep my home brewing supplies, my roll-top desk, and, within some unobtrusive white cabinets, my tools. It's as close to a "man cave" as I've ever had. I have even hosted the occasional poker game there, hence we call it "the poker room".
Its main source of illumination is a flood light located in a recessed housing on the ceiling. With months to go before I head up to Boston to join my wife, the bulb went out and I added "Flood Light" to my Wal-Mart list.
As has been usual lately, I was in a hurry when I went there. The selection of flood lights was limited to a bunch of very expensive bulbs that touted how long they'd last.
I'm leaving soon. Why should I spend extra money on a bulb that will last for years?
But that's all they had and I needed light back there. I didn't want to waste time going on another trip for the sake of one bulb. Into the cart it went.
On returning home, the first thing I saw when I picked up the package of the bulb to replace the flood light was a Bush Bulb peering out at me from behind the lens of its Edison Bulb-like housing.
Damn. Had I purchased a Bush Bulb? The packaging confirmed that I was about to desecrate my man cave. The 15 watt bulb was touted as "equivalent" to the 65 watt bulb I was going to replace it with. It wasn't going to be my place for long and I'd get to see for myself what the light bulbs our government is about to force us to use really can do.
At least for this application, the bulb is not " equivalent". There is a seconds-long delay between when you turn on the switch and when you get light. When you do, the light is dim for a period of something like a minute or two. Apparently, this bulb has to warm up a little. This means I can't depend on it to give me light instantly if I need it. After it warms up, the light is similar-enough to what I had before that it will do, but the unnecessary delay would ordinarily make this bulb unacceptable to me. Were I not leaving soon, I'd replace it.
And were President Bush and Congress not intent on handing out marching orders in the name of "saving" "the planet", I would be free, from now on, to benefit from the knowledge that, as flood lights, CFL bulbs are inferior to incandescent bulbs.
But President Bush and Congress are not about doing their job, which is to protect the individual rights of the American Citizen. This is too bad, for if they won't permit us to make a simple decision like buying a light bulb, how else will they harm us down the road?
I can't trust them on small matters. And yet, they can compel me through force to do their bidding on large matters. This is the essence of what is wrong with American government today. This has got to change, but it will not do so until the people re-learn the importance of individual rights and the proper purpose of government. Only then will Americans demand a government that isn't so intrusive that it will screw them out of making the right decision even on something so simple as which light bulb to buy.